I’ve lived in two Philly one-bed apartments:

  • Old City – $1,600, 750 square feet
  • Rittenhouse – $2,000, 810 square feet

Right next to the legendary Stortz Tools is a brand new apartment building called 214 Vine (sick name). It’s accepting leases so I checked out their website. Below are the two available floorplans.

I’m sure Reddit has been complaining about this for years, but the price-to-space ratio here is baffling. And it seems that every new development project is doing the same. The Amble opening at 2nd and Chestnut is nearly identical.

Saying that this is ‘wrong’ is not exactly right, but it feels wrong. Developers are squeezing every square foot they can out of people with thin walls in generic buildings. How do you have any friends over in these places?!

The flip side is “hey, if people are willing to pay for it, then what’s the problem?”, and I don’t have a counter to that. Who am I to say how much square footage is acceptable for a two bed apartment?

I don’t know what I hope for. I’m generally a believer in ‘the market’, but a city careening towards 300 square foot studios seems bleak. As I enter my sixth year living here, I’ve become more excited to get out. Would 25 year old Sam be excited to move into one of these? Maybe. I try not to be biased but these apartments are really small. Covy and Melon simply could not exist in a 516 square foot apartment.

Maybe I’m just old. Maybe this is how most city dwellers feel after 5-10 years regardless of what year it is. Or maybe we’ve actually reached the imaginary line of ‘this is actually too small and inhumane‘. All I know is that a front yard and garage have never been more appealing.